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We are back with the ONLY TWO exercises you need for growth series and this time, we’re hitting those buns! Now, when most people think about legs, they don’t really think about their glutes and for most people the only glute work in their workouts is from heavy back squats.
But are squats ENOUGH to properly train your glutes for muscle growth and explosive power? The short answer is no. You see, your glutes are very big and powerful muscles, but they’re only assisting your hamstrings and quads during your squats. And that’s the key word here, ASSISTING! Sure, they’ll help you come out of a deep squat by extending your hips, but that’s not enough when it comes to MAXIMIZING strength and size.
Why Is Glute Strength Important?
Believe it or not strong glutes will help you with most, if not all, of your big lifts such as squats, deadlifts, overhead press, and bench press and they will also help with your posture as well. In fact, if you haven’t watched my video on addressing Anterior Pelvic Tilt, check out the article on my app and you’ll immediately understand how important glute strength is when it comes to preventing lower back pain and posture imbalances. But enough talk, let’s get to those two exercises!
Exercise #1: Barbell Glute Bridge (3 Sets: 5 Reps)
You’re only resting 60 – 90 seconds between sets with this movement. This exercise is much more than just thrusting your hips into the air so make sure you pay attention to these three key components while performing the movement!
1. Master The Movement First
You need to start with your bodyweight to get the form down! This includes pushing through your ankles while keeping your spine neutral and hyper extending your hips at the top of the movement while simultaneously flexing your glutes as hard as you can. So many people waste their time with this exercise because they don’t know how to hyperextend and that’s because they didn’t master BODYWEIGHT first. In fact, it might be a better idea for you to perform a warm-up set of 15 slow reps to activate your glutes so your focus is where it needs to be when you start repping heavy weight!
2. Stop If You Feel Pain
If your lower back hurts at ANY point, you’re doing the movement wrong which usually means you’re hyperextending at the top by using your spinal erectors instead of your glutes. If that happens, you need to reset your form. At the starting position, you should not be able to fit your hand behind your lower back. Then from THAT point, press through your glutes and hold the top position for a second or two.
One more thing to keep in mind is your foot position. The further AWAY your heels are from your butt, the less focus you are going to have on your glutes. So don’t be afraid to re-adjust your feet every few reps.
3. Progress With The Movement
Start adding weight as soon as you feel comfortable with the exercise. Who cares if it looks “weird” or that people are “staring” at you. What the hell are you so self-conscious about? The people starring at you with their stupid droopy butts? Screw them! You need to re-think your goals and why you’re going to the gym. Your training time is YOUR TIME. So get in the zone and focus on YOURSELF!